After an attempt of sailing to le Tréport on the previous day (read: we realised there was too little wind after a few miles of sailing and turned back around) we are staying in the harbour for another day. There is very little wind again today and we decide it is a good day to replace the water hose between our tank and the tap. It has been giving our water a funny taste and we hope to solve that. As with most projects on boats it takes a lot longer than expected. After lunch, the only thing left to do is connecting the hose to the pump at the tap, but this proves a difficult task. The hose needs to bend to fit on the connecting part and it keeps slipping off before we can fasten the hose clamp. We have borrowed a water hose from the harbour office against a deposit because the taps on the docks do not have hoses, and we need it to fill up our water tank. The problem is that the harbour office closes at 18:30 and we are planning on leaving the next morning early (before they open again). Around 18:00 Moritz goes to a marina shop to buy an adapter such that the hose does not need to bend, but unfortunately only one end fits. We bring back the water hose and claim our deposit. Sometime after that, we manage to get the hose on the pump and we start clearing out the mess we’ve made. Halfway through this process, we are visited by five border control officers, who would very much like to check our boat. We allow them to come on board and we quickly try to find all passports and papers of the boat. These are all critically examined and they fill out multiple forms.

After they have assured us that it is best to tell upfront about any drugs on board, the boat is searched thoroughly. Very thoroughly. Every storage section is emptied (and believe me, there is a lot of storage space on a small sailboat), every book is flipped through, every box and bag is opened.

A list of everything they found interesting/had questions about:

  • The fact that the wooden plates in the fore cabin don’t look original (though not too many things are original on our boat)
  • The tourist guide of Brittany, we got a recommendation for Fouesnant
  • The box of cornflakes
  • The wax tablets I have to make wax seals on envelopes
  • The fact that we do not smoke at all

We now know however one storage space which so well hidden (Moritz only learned about its existence after I pointed it out months after we bought the boat) that even the border control officers did not realise it was there.

After they left it was only a matter of reorganising all of our belongings since not everything was put back exactly as it was before…

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